SINGAPORE (Sept 12): Singapore is the 14th most “idea intensive” country, according to PwC’s Global Economy Watch.

South Korea, which topped the idea intensity index, saw 2,554 patents granted per million of population while the republic saw 543 patents granted per million population.

The findings were based on PwC analysis of World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) datasets regarding patents granted in 2017, with adjustments for population size.

These survey also found that the top 20 were dominated by East Asian and Northern European countries.

In particular, the Nordic countries such as Sweden (1,207), Finland (1,157) and Denmark (798) all appeared in the top 10 while Norway ranked 16th with 533 patents.

East Asia also performed strongly on the intensity index with Japan placed fourth (2,239) while China appeared in the top 20 for the first time and led the way on the absolute number of patents granted.

European nations occupied 13 places among the top 20 with Germany (930) and France (558) ranked eighth and thirteenth respectively.

The UK also broke into the top 20, with 311 patents granted per million population, but still lagged behind many European nations, including Ireland. In terms of absolute number of patents given, it was ranked eighth in the world.

The survey also demonstrated a strong correlation between idea intensity and R&D expenditure with the top 20 dominated by those nations spending the highest proportion of their GDP on research.

Henry Goodwin, Digital & Technology leader at PwC Legal International, says, “Singapore's high score on idea intensity reflects its robust intellectual property regime, and long term government policies focused on stimulating R&D as the foundation for a knowledge based economy.

“At a regional level, the Asean Working Group on Intellectual Property Cooperation (AWGIPC) has been consistently developing effective regional infrastructure and systems for IP protection, enforcement and commercialisation in Southeast Asia since 1996.

“As cross-border initiatives such as these are implemented, we would expect to see Singapore continuing to strengthen its position as a reliable IP hub for organisations seeking access to the fast growing markets of Southeast Asia.”